It is usually thought that bacteriophage T7 is female specific, while phage T3 can propagate on male and female Escherichia coli. We found that the growth patterns of phages T7M and T3 do not match the above characteristics, instead showing strain dependent male exclusion. Furthermore, a T3/7 hybrid phage exhibits a broader host range relative to that of T3, T7, as well as T7M, and is able to overcome the male exclusion. The T7M sequence closely resembles that of T3. T3/7 is essentially T3 based, but a DNA fragment containing part of the tail fiber gene 17 is replaced by the T7 sequence. T3 displays inferior adsorption to strains tested herein compared to T7. The T3 and T7 recombinant phage carries altered tail fibers and acquires better adsorption efficiency than T3. How phages T3 and T7 recombine was previously unclear. This study is the first to show that recombination can occur accurately within only 8 base-pair homology, where four-way junction structures are identified. Genomic recombination models based on endonuclease I cleavages at equivalent and nonequivalent sites followed by strand annealing are proposed. Retention of pseudo-palindromes can increase recombination frequency for reviving under stress.
|Original language||American English|
|State||Published - 9 Feb 2012|